Color Emoji On Ubuntu

Color Emoji.

Every platform has support for it… except Ubuntu (and most other Linux distros). So, let me show you how to add support for color emoji.

2 things before you start:

  1. This method is originally from an article OMG Ubuntu once published. It’s slightly modified using one of the comments on the article.
  2. Do not do this unless you know how to delete the emoji font and revert back.
  3. Not all apps support color emoji, so in unsupported apps, you’ll see grayscale emoji. They still look nice compared to the ugly Symbola emoji, though.

Let’s go.

  1. Download the Noto Color Emoji font here. (They’re the ugly Android Oreo emoji, but if you want the older blob emoji, download it here. Just remember that these emoji will never get updated again.)
  2. Unzip the file if you need to.
  3. Copy the NotoColorEmoji.ttf. Go to your home folder and make a new folder called .fonts. It’ll be hidden, so press Ctrl + L, type /.fonts and press Enter. Paste the file here.
  4. Open Terminal and type these commands, one by one, pressing Enter after each one.
  5. Paste this in (do not change a single character).
  6. If you get a blank line after pasting the above code in, skip to step 7. Otherwise, press Enter.
  7. Type EOF and press Enter.
  8. Type in fc-cache -f -v and press Enter. Wait for it to finish.
  9. You might need to restart the apps you had open and/or your computer.

That’s it! Open Firefox or a Chrome based browser and go to this link to test it.

If you still see some black-and-white emoji, that’s because either another font is providing those (and Noto Color Emoji is only subbing in what the other fonts don’t have), or the app doesn’t support color emoji (most don’t). I don’t know how to fix the first issue, but let me know in the comments if you know how to fix it!

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